The San Miguel District is one of the 11 sub-districts that make up the Paso Robles AVA.
Established in 2014, the San Miguel District is located at the very top of the Paso Robles AVA, and encompasses 18,500 acres in and around the city of San Miguel (just north of Paso Robles).
The district takes its name from the Mission San Miguel Arcàngel, one of the original Spanish Missions established by the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1833. Mission San Miguel was the 16th mission built in California, and founded on July 25, 1797.
Like many of the Paso Robles AVA sub-districts, the San Miguel District is known for its southern Rhône reds, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Merlots, but also produces some of the best Zinfandels, Grenaches, and Mourvèdres varietals that should not be missed.
WINE TASTING IN SAN MIGUEL DISTRICT
Due to COVID-19, some wineries may not be open for tasting or have different hours than listed below. Given the rapidly changing landscape of rules and regulations, please contact wineries directly to ensure you are able to visit, and make reservations as necessary.
There are over 200 wineries in Paso Robles Wine Country, and several of the vineyards in the San Miguel District is open to the public for wine tasting and events.
To help you plan your next outing we’ve curated a list of all the vineyard tasting rooms in the San Miguel District where you can enjoy and explore the amazing varietals coming out of the region.
If you can’t make it to the vineyards check out Paso Robles’ Food & Drink Page to see the wine bars, off-site tasting rooms, and restaurants that feature Highlands District wines!
VINEYARD TASTING ROOMS
2280 San Marcos Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Monday – Friday
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
8585 Cross Canyons Rd
San Miguel, CA 93451
Sunday – Monday
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1172 San Marcos Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446
By Appointment Only
The San Miguel District is located at the very top of the Paso Robles AVA, sharing its northern border with both the AVA and San Luis Obispo County. The district covers 18,500 acres of land, which spans from the Estrella River in the east to the Santa Lucia Mountain Range in the west, and from the SLO County line in the north down to San Marcos Road near Paso Robles to the south. The San Miguel District also shares its borders with two of the most popular districts in the AVA (Estrella and Adelaida), and shares many of the same growing conditions.
The Santa Lucia Mountain Range, for example, is a heavy influence on both the Adelaida and San Miguel Districts, both of which have vineyards in higher elevations because of their geographic location. However, San Miguel is not impacted by the cooling effects of the Templeton Gap in ways Adelaida is, differentiating the two. Additionally, the San Miguel and Estrella Districts share similar growing conditions given their proximity to the Estrella River, but the Estrella District sees much warmer and drier weather in the eastern half as you get closer to Creston and Shandon. However, unlike the Adelaida and Estrella Districts, the soil in San Miguel consists of recent alluvial fans and deep alluvial soils, and is composed of sandy loam and clay loam that has been distributed across the district from the riverbeds where it originated.
During the growing season, the climate in the San Miguel District is very similar to that of the rest of the districts in the Paso Robles AVA: hot days and cool nights. However, San Miguel does not see the coastal influences from the Templeton Gap like many of the southern districts do, but does see a higher annual rainfall given its elevation and proximity to the Santa Lucia Mountain Range.
These growing conditions allow the San Miguel District to produce many of the red wines the Paso Robles AVA is famous for, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. However, the warm, dry climate of the district also allows it to produce varietals that perform well in those conditions, like Zinfandels, southern Rhône reds, and Mourvèdres that should not be missed!
*during growing season
Petite Sirah (Durif)
ABOUT THE PASO ROBLES AVA
Paso Robles’s AVA was established in 1983, and at the time encompassed approximately 614,000 acres across the cities of Paso Robles, Templeton, San Miguel Creston, Shandon, and Santa Margarita in northern SLO County.
At almost three times the size of Napa Valley’s AVA, Paso Robles remained the largest single AVA in California until 2014 when 11 sub-districts were established. Although the larger boundary did not change, these new districts provided a more nuanced understanding of the growing regions within the Paso Robles AVA, and the wines that could be successfully crafted.
Today the distinct terroir profiles (or growing conditions) of the eleven districts contribute to the production of over 40 varietals (the vast majority crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Roussanne, Zinfandel, Viognier, Merlot, and Syrah), and home to over 200 wineries for locals and tourists to enjoy and explore.
Learn more about the eleven districts below, and make sure to plan your next wine tasting weekend in Paso Robles’s Wine Country!